Monday, September 14, 2009

Week 1: Packers

It wasn't pretty. Before the Packers' final touchdown, Rodgers only had 134 yards passing on the night. Rodgers missed his receivers when they had their coverage beat. Rodgers could have had at LEAST one more deep TD pass like he had to Jennings for the game-winner. However, the Packers still managed a win (over their rival no less!), but more importantly they did two things they couldn't do last year that cost them many games:
1. Rodgers led a 2-minute drill, 4th quarter comeback
Time and time again last year, the Packers came up short because they were offensively stagnant in the fourth quarter. These were times when Packers fans wish they had "He Who Shall Not Be Named" back. I'm sure Rodgers knew what everyone was saying when he walked on the field for the final series. "Will he do it?" Did Rodgers really answer the question? Last night he did. I do not necessarily think that this means that everything has changed since last year, but it's a good sign and was very reminiscent (as Bryce and I discussed last night) of the deep ball Jennings caught to win the game in Denver two years ago.
2. The defense held in the fourth quarter
The Packers always gave up vast amounts of points in the second half last season. They seemed to be going down the same road last night when they gave up their lead. After Rodgers answered his call last night, my first though was (and Bryce can attest to this, because I sent him this text) "We have to play defense." I knew the things that the Packers always struggled with late in the game. However, the defense answered its challenge by picking off Jay Cutler for the FOURTH time. It was very reminiscent of the Packers' playoff game against the Seahawks many years ago when Matt Hasselbeck so infamously said "We want the ball and we're going to score." Al Harris picked him off that day for a game-winning touchdown. Although Al didn't score last night, the effect of his interception was still game-winning. Good job D, and great job Dom.

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